Almost a decade ago, Marla came to Raphael House with her one-year-old daughter Kayla after gaining the courage to leave an abusive relationship. We welcomed Marla and her daughter with a safe place to stay, but equally as important, Raphael House partnered with Marla as she worked to rebuild her life by giving her the tools and support to achieve financial independence and a safe and stable home for Kayla. With one-on-one support from her case manager, Marla created an action plan toward self-sufficiency that included her long-term goals of building a career in project management and one day owning her own home. As part of her plan, Marla enrolled in business administration classes and worked with our career development manager on resume building, networking, interviewing, and communicating effectively. She also learned how to prioritize her monthly expenses, budget, and save toward her goal of obtaining housing and financial independence. Through much hard work and the ongoing support and guidance she received from Raphael House, Marla was quickly able to secure an affordable apartment for herself and her daughter. A few years later, steadily employed with a job she loved, Marla fulfilled her dream of home ownership. Unfortunately, after eight years in a successful career, Marla was dealt a drastic blow when she experienced an unexpected health crisis that resulted in the loss of her job. Fearful of losing the home she made for herself and her daughter, Marla reached out to Raphael House for help. Our Bridge Program provided Marla with a one-time Housing Opportunity Assistance grant that saved her from losing her home. With intensive case management and support from our Career Development Program, Marla was soon able to re-enter the workforce. Today Marla is once again healthy and steadily employed, and she continues to live with Kayla in the home she worked so hard for.
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